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Get Out Of Town!: North Rim Grand Canyon

The North Rim of the Grand Canyon is a special place. At over 8000 feet in elevation, the climate is cooler and wetter with alpine meadows and evergreen trees.

Only about 600,000 of the more than six million annual visitors to the Grand Canyon visit the North Rim. The Visitors Center, restaurants and Lodge are quiet and relaxing, even in the busy summer season.

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View of the Grand Canyon from hidden room under the Lodge at the North Rim. (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

Hotel, food and park services are open May 15 through October 15. The park itself is open year long, but the roads are not maintained in winter and the nearest town of Jacob’s Lake is 45 miles away. In winter, average snowfall on the rim is over 11 feet.

Late September and early October is a very popular time to visit the North Rim, with leaves turning out their fall colors and temperatures dropping.

Rustic cabins and Lodge hotel rooms allow a few hundred visitors to stay overnight. Nearby campgrounds are also available for advance reservation, with some sites open to walk-up visitors. Backcountry permits are required for camping below the rim.

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A large herd of bison graze outside the park entrance to the North Rim. (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

The Grand Canyon Lodge Dining Room provides enjoyable meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner. A few other small sandwich shops, an evening buffet and a bar are also on site.

Some easy trails branch out from the Visitors Center, including the Transept Trail and Bright Angel Point Trail. Follow the Bridle Trail for 1.2 miles from the Visitors Center to find the entrance for the North Kaibab Trail which leads down into the Canyon, passing the Coconino Overlook, the Supai Tunnel and other points of interest along the way.

More challenging trails along the rim also abound, just a few miles from the Visitors Center.

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The view from Bright Angel Point. (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

The North Rim of the Grand Canyon is about 534 miles from Burbank, approximately a straight 8 1/2 hour drive, going through Las Vegas. From Las Vegas, it’s about 4 1/2 hours to drive 263 miles.

The North Rim is a gorgeous place that warrants an overnight stay and more exploration if you have the time. The view of the Grand Canyon from the north is awe-inspiring and iconic. If you’re lucky, you’ll see bison, deer, turkey and the famous but rare, tassel-eared Kaibab squirrel.

Current parking fees are $35 per vehicle for one week. More information on the North Rim can be found here.

Editor’s Note: While there’s always a lot going on in Burbank, myBurbank’s “Get Out Of Town!” highlights some of our favorite activities and events outside the town borders.